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Congressman Robert Wexler, a Democrat from the House of Representatives who represents Florida’s 19th congressional district, arrived at the Amazon Room at 2007 WSOP in support of the Skill Game Protection Act. His bill represents games like poker and chess that pit players against each other instead of against the House.
“My bill would undo the prohibition Situs Judi Online that was put in place during the last Congress that prevents adult Americans in consensual fashion from playing poker and a whole other set of games,” he said. “My bill essentially says that an adult in America can play a game of skill if he or she chooses and that the U.S. Government should not be in the business of deciding what games adults should be playing on the Internet.”
Congressman Bill Frist had attached the legislation for the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act to a Port Security bill by Fall ‘06 and was greeted with unanimous approval in the Senate as well as a large majority in the House, despite the fact that lotteries and horse races had been exempted.
“It’s a violation of the purest form of Situs Judi Online personal freedom,” said Congressman Wexler. “All that we’ve done is force people to participate on websites from overseas that aren’t as well protected as they would be if they were in America. That money is being pushed overseas where they won’t be paying income taxes.”
James McDermott has similarly drafted a proposal called the Internet Gambling Tax Act, which is still awaiting discussion. Wexler defends the sport, saying, “Poker is a national pastime. People play poker in the House. There are stories about Reagan and Top O’Neill playing poker when they got together. American soldiers play poker all over the world. It enjoys an enormous amount of support and I was happy to learn that there are more Americans who watch poker on television than watch college football and the NBA. I think that’s an illustration of how much poker is part of the American fabric of life.”
Congressman Wexler acknowledges that it is the medium and not the game that has changed. Congress has not taken well to dealing Situs Judi Online with this change. Wexler believes that many in Congress remain ignorant of the impact of Frist’s suggested legislation.
“There’s a lot of work to be done still,” he said. “Most members of Congress don’t realize that we have prohibited consenting adults form playing on the internet. They don’t appreciate the level of passion that exists in the country on behalf of poker players who would like to play, but can’t. We’re just at the beginning of a crescendo of political efforts.”